In an effort to ensure consumers around the world have safe, affordable, and nutritious food choices, Elanco developed Paylean® (ractopamine) – a beta-agonist, which enables farmers to safely produce more pork with greater efficiency and allows them to feed more people while using fewer natural resources and generating less animal waste.
Elanco’s ractopamine products are FDA-approved feed ingredients that help animals increase the amount of high-quality lean meat rather than fat. The product has been safely used in livestock production for more than a decade and is made from ingredients that can be found in nature, including raspberry ketones. Since the introduction of Paylean in 1999, there have been no confirmed adverse human health reports related to the consumption of ractopamine-fed pork. While social media monitoring and anecdotal evidence consistently indicate low levels of public concern about ractopamine, recent negative media reports have raised the awareness of international trade of meat and labeling of meat produced from animals fed ractopamine. Elanco believes that "ractopamine-free" labels will confuse consumers on the product’s safety and contribution to sustainability in farming. Organic labels already fill this need and are widely understood by consumers.
Without the use of ractopamine, an additional 91 million bushels of corn would be needed to feed pigs and cattle to supply the needed amounts of pork and beef. By using the latest advances in farming practices, including adoption of safe products like ractopamine, U.S. pig farmers have reduced the carbon footprint per pound of dressed/finished pork by 35 percent over the past 50 years, from 3.8 kg/carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) to 2.5 kg/CO2e today.
In addition, these types of feed ingredients for animals are particularly important as we consider ways to safely and sustainably increase food production. With nearly 1 billion people struggling with hunger and malnutrition today and an increasing population approaching 9 billion by 2050, Paylean and other food-technology innovations will be valuable and necessary tools to help meet increasing food demand for quality protein.